Andrew Yang has all but confirmed the months of rumors by registering a 2021 mayoral campaign with the city’s campaign finance board, a necessary procedural step.
Yang, an idiosyncratic entrepreneur and philanthropist who made headlines and a devoted following during his failed race in the most recent presidential race, would be the most prominent figure in the crowded race for New York City mayor.
The race is crowded; nearly a dozen people, most prominently City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, have announced their mayoral runs.
Yang, prior to his run in the Democratic primary for president, had minimal political experience. During his campaign, he focused on anti-poverty measures such as universal basic income, and how to bring the American economy back to full strength.
He built up a popular following, especially among young people, but was unable to maintain momentum. After Joe Biden won the nomination, Yang traveled the country, campaigning on behalf of Biden.
Yang has minimal connections in the sprawling New York City political circles, and no practical experience in daily governing, but has name-recognition and unconventional economic plans such as universal basic income and a new banking system.
The Democratic primary is in June, and election day is November 2nd. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rose to the position with a progressive platform of expanding education and ending stop-and-frisk, will step down after two terms an extremely unpopular figure, widely scorned for his failed presidential run and his botched handling of the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.